By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Girls Scouts provide HOPE to homeless
girl scout shelter

Why is laundry detergent pods needed for the HOPE Family Shelters?

It is a question one of the members of Girl Scout Troop 1696 asked their leader Emma Valdovinos when they launched their most recent community service project specifically helping homeless families that turn to HOPE Family Shelters for help.

The answer, according to HOPE Executive Director Cecily Ballungay, is that it allows the non-profit to distribute detergent once a week to each of the 23 families they house. Families receive one pod for each member if there is detergent available. Each family has a scheduled time where they can use a washer and dry to do their laundry.

The Girl Scouts Tuesday delivered a carload of personal hygiene items, detergent, devotional material and other needs to HOPE’s Raymus House where the non-profit houses single moms and their children. They have two other shelters — one for families and a transitional shelter.

Valdovinos said the troop members decide what projects to undertake. In the past they have helped bark the playground at Raymus House, served cookies and treats to families, and one summer provided the shelter with things that would allow kids staying there to be kids such as providing a wading pool.

Ballungay said personal hygiene items as well as things such as toilet paper are highly valued.

She noted when families arrive they literally bring nothing with them including things most of us take for granted such as tooth brushes.

Each family is given a welcome basket with such items in it.

The in-kind donation of personal hygiene product has two positive impacts. First given the cost of operating the shelters — HOPE raises $360,000 a year that all but $40,000 comes from churches, businesses, service clubs, individuals, and private sector grants — they can’t afford to pay for all such needs of families.

And what money families don’t spend on such items, they save toward first month rent and a security deposit for permanent housing after their two to four month stay with HOPE Family Shelters.

Second Harvest Food Bank helps with the food for the 23 families.

The non-profit will be celebrating 25 Years of HOPE during an anniversary fundraising dinner on Saturday, July 14, at the MRPS Hall in downtown Manteca. The evening starts at 5 p.m. Tickets are $75.

For more information on how you can help call Executive Director Cecily Ballungay at (209) 824-0658 or go to


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email